The “forbidden articles” have found their home… in MINECRAFT? Know more about this campaign here! [Thursday: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]
Miles Everson’s The Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
Have you ever witnessed a marketing tactic that was incredibly impactful?
That could be guerrilla marketing!
According to Jay Conrad Levinson, campaigns of this type leave a lasting impression that enable people to actively remember a brand.
Today, we’ll talk about another example of a clever guerilla marketing campaign. Are you ready?
Learn how this international non-profit and non-governmental organization took advantage of one of the most successful computer games to connect with the young generation and break borders online.
Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing
In some countries, published content in various websites, social media platforms, and blogs are controlled by government institutions. As a result, young people in these countries grow up in systems where their opinion is heavily influenced by disinformation campaigns.
… but even in places where almost all media is blocked or controlled, one of the world’s most successful video games—Minecraft—is still accessible.
That’s why on March 12, 2020, a.k.a. The “World Day Against Cyber Censorship,” the international non-profit and non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) used Minecraft in a campaign to bypass Internet censorship and uncover the truth to the young generation.
RSF called it…
#TruthFindsAWay: Minecraft Offers Unlimited Freedom Even In Countries Where There Is No Press Freedom
Created through collaborative efforts by RSF, creative agency DDB Germany, design studio BlockWorks, and production company MediaMonks, the “Uncensored Library” provides access to independent information to young people around the world through a medium they can playfully interact with.
Journalists from different countries, such as:
- Jamal Khashoggi (Saudi Arabia)
- Yulia Berezovskaia (Russia)
- Nguyen Van Dai (Vietnam)
- Javier Valdez (Mexico)
- Mada Masr (Egypt)
… were given a place to make their voices heard again, despite being banned, jailed, exiled, and even killed.
Their “forbidden articles” were republished in the “Uncensored Library’s” books within Minecraft, giving players and other online users the chance to inform themselves about the real political situation in their countries and learn the importance of press freedom.
The library was built in 3 months and made from over 12.5 million blocks. Its main dome was nearly 300 meters wide, which would make it the second largest library in the world if it was built in real life.
The design of the library followed the striking neoclassical architectural style. Inside, each hall was designed with a sculpture or art relevant to the country whose works that section held.
For example: One wall in Mexico’s wing featured portraits of journalists who were killed. In Brazil’s central hall, a giant hammer was suspended from the ceiling over a small book, in reference to the country’s repressive media laws.
Upon entry, visitors were presented with a book that explained the library’s purpose and organizational scheme. There was no catalog or other retrieval system. Rather, users could just click on the country they would like to visit and were then teleported to one of the library’s rooms.
Flags for every country also circled the upper atrium of the library; behind each was information on a country’s World Press Freedom Index ranking and an article on its current levels of censorship.
Documents were selected by RSF with the permission of the writers and then transcribed into Minecraft format. Each volume was offered in its original language and in English. Arabic-language articles were presented as audio files because the Arabic script didn’t match Minecraft’s Unicode.
While articles were depicted as books within the game, most documents were article-length. Minecraft pages contained about 50 characters in 12-point type, so an entire book would be unwieldy to transcribe and read.
Until today, the “Uncensored Library” has regular updates. In fact, new rooms for Brazil, Belarus, and Eritrea have just been recently added!
You may know more about the campaign by visiting its microsite or viewing the actual library through the Minecraft server.
Was RSF’s “Uncensored Library” campaign effective?
The “Uncensored Library” quickly went viral. It has hosted more than 25 million Minecraft players worldwide since opening its virtual doors in March 2020.
At present, the RSF receives 3 or 4 emails weekly about the project. Instructors from middle school and higher education have also used the virtual library in their classes.
Here are other results of the campaign:
- Bronze award at the 2020 CLIO Awards
- 2 Yellow Pencils, 1 Graphite Pencil, 5 Wood Pencils, and 3 Shortlists at the 2021 D&AD Awards
- Winner in the Games, Public Service, Activism, and Social Impact category at the 2021 Webby Awards
- Gold award at the 2021 The One Show Awards
- Gold award at the 2021 Eurobest Awards
Clearly, these results and recognitions show RSF’s “Uncensored Library” became a hit. Not only did it garner international attention but also “subverted censorship brick by brick.”
Kudos, RSF, DDB Germany, BlockWorks, and MediaMonks!
Through the Uncensored Library, RSF was able to raise awareness about the importance of press freedom across the globe. However, that’s not all that the institution wanted to do.
Its main goal was to empower the next generation to stand up for their rights to information and give them a powerful tool to fight censorship: KNOWLEDGE.
In the words of Yulia Berezovskaia, a Russian journalist:
“The only real way of fighting censorship is sharing and spreading what has been censored.”
We hope you’re empowered by today’s guerrilla marketing feature!
As you can see, guerrilla marketing can be used for purely marketing purposes or raising awareness about a particular issue. So, as a business owner, leader, or marketer, think of how you can use such a strategy to your brand’s advantage.
You’ll see: When done right, guerrilla marketing will not only help your brand achieve its goals but will also be beneficial to your target market.
It’s time to think outside the box and market your brand without borders!
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”
Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”
Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.
Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.
Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.
This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.
It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).
Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.
The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.
Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.
This is every business’ or brand’s dream!
Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.
Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.
Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.
Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
Powered by Valens Research